News article

Coronavirus: Entertainment and hospitality premises must close temporarily

20 March 2020


Cafes, pubs and restaurants must close, except for take-away food businesses

To delay the spread of coronavirus, the government has instructed some businesses and venues including all pubs, bars and restaurants to close from Friday 20 March.

The closures aim to help limit the spread of coronavirus by helping to stop non-essential contact and unnecessary travel.

The measures will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and are being implemented across the whole of the UK in agreement with Northern Ireland Executive Office. If needed, the government will enforce these measures by law.

This will not affect supermarkets or retailers that supply fuel, medicines and other vital goods, which will continue to be open as normal for the public.  

The following businesses and venues have been asked to close: 

  • Food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes.
  • Drinking establishments, including pubs, bars, nightclubs.
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and bingo halls.
  • Museums and galleries.
  • Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours.
  • Casinos and betting shops.
  • All indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms.

This measure will not impact the relaxation of rules announced which will allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak, which will help to support people who are staying at home through this period.

The government has also urged the public to take further steps to protect themselves and the wider population from the coronavirus, including:  

  • Everyone to stay at home unless they need to get essential supplies such as food and medicines. 
  • All those able to work from home to do so, unless their work is essential.  
  • Only travelling if absolutely necessary - while public transport won’t stop, this should only be used for essential travel – for example by key workers to travel to and from work.  

The closures announced today will not impact the running of public transport.


First published 20 March 2020